LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — Winter is usually a great time for eagle viewing in southwestern Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota, as the birds congregate on the open water and food sources along the Mississippi River.

But not this year, when warmer temperatures and scattered snowfall has given the birds more far-flung options. A naturalist instructor at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota, says less harsh winter conditions haven't forced eagles to migrate to the Coulee Region.

A retired warden or the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources who now volunteers at Effigy Mounds National Monument and Park in Iowa says eagle numbers have increased in the past couple of weeks, after late-season snowfall prompted the birds to congregate near the Mississippi River for food.